Picture Smart In JAWS: Independently Selecting Your Artwork

Starting with JAWS 2019, the Picture Smart feature allows you to choose a photo and submit it for analysis. A description of the image is displayed in the JAWS Results Viewer window. The following guest post was written by musician Dave Baker, and provides a step-by-step application of the Picture Smart feature in JAWS.

As an independent musician, every time I release a piece of music, either through my record company or on my private YouTube channel, I need some artwork to accompany it. Picture Smart in JAWS does this for me in an unbiased fashion.

If you have been blind very long, you know that getting an unbiased description of a photo can be difficult. Picture Smart does this very well as intelligent technology, as opposed to a human being with thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, Picture Smart gives me feedback from multiple sources in one convenient location.

Searching for Photos

As an ambient cinematic musician, I am asked to compose a lot of nature-inspired works. I have just completed a thunderstorm composition, and am ready to find the right artwork for the project.

I use a site that offers free artwork for download. In the search box, I type “thunderstorm” to see what is available.

I can now browse the photos by using the next and previous article commands: O and SHIFT+O respectively. Picture Smart will not describe the picture because it is a hyperlink; however, many artists usually provide descriptive text.

Thunderstorm is a generic term, but there is one photo that catches my attention. It is called “Island During Golden Hour and Upcoming Storm.”

My work opens with pan pipes, rises into an electronic orchestral swell, and fades off with a combination of congas, marimba, and the pan pipes again. This image sounds like a fit, but I need to know more about it.

I download the photo, and continue browsing to get other images for comparison.

Activate Picture Smart

When I am ready to analyze an image, I navigate to my downloads folder where the file is stored. The image name is self-descriptive, which makes it easy to locate.

Picture Smart is accessed through a layered command, which eliminates the need to press several keys at once. Press INSERT+SPACEBAR to enter the layer, then the corresponding command.

If I did not know how to access Picture Smart, I could press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by J to use JAWS Search. I would type Picture Smart into the search box, then TAB through the various command choices for recognizing images from a camera, a file, or a control.

I can access Picture Smart directly with the layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by P, then press F to recognize a file. Information about the analyzed image is displayed in the Results Viewer. This can include a caption of the photo, text contained in the image, and description tags.

Picture Smart Results

Once the photo is analyzed, I can read a description in the Results Viewer. It gives me several perspectives on the photo. The following is an example:

A sunset in the background

Description automatically generated

Caption is a sunset over a body of water.

This text appears in the photo


These tags describe the photo

Cloud, Nature, outdoor, sky, water.

These tags probably describe the photo

Atmosphere, Atmospheric phenomenon, Calm, Horizon, lake, landscape, lightning, Natural landscape, Sea.

These tags possibly describe the photo

clouds, storm, sunset.

Once I review the results, I press ESC to exit the Results Viewer, and repeat the process for other photos.

As a long-time JAWS user, I appreciate the innovation of Picture Smart. It enables me to gain access to visual information so I can independently select artwork for my music projects.

We’d like to thank Dave Baker for sharing his experience with the Picture Smart feature in JAWS.